Ask the Pageant Queen turned Comedian

Kate Banaszak – Former Miss DELAWARE, Dewey’s Town Clerk and Stand-Up Comedian

She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’s Miss United States…well almost. But Kate Banaszak was Miss Delaware in 2009. During her experience in the national Miss USA Pageant, while she didn’t take home the title, she did learn something very important about herself—that she was quite funny. Today, she graces us in her political position as Town Clerk of Dewey Beach, and you may even find her onstage performing stand-up comedy in Rehoboth Beach.

Hailing from Middletown DE, Kate’s been in politics here at Delaware Beach for 5 years; working from the ground-up, to her current role as Dewey Beach Town Clerk. “I’m not bureaucratic at all,” she says. “Politics is black and white, and I like to use all the crayons in the box.” And she does just that, by wearing many hats in her position at Town Hall. She “creates the flow” by assisting the Town Manager, manages all record keeping, keeps minutes and agendas, creates the Town Newsletters, manages the website and even dabbles in I.T. Kate is not afraid to jump in and help out. “I love everyone I work with, and I couldn’t do this job in many other places. However, here in Dewey, we face different challenges than other areas,” Kate explains, regarding the nuances of working on the political side of a hopping beach town that is a sought-out, busy, vacation destination.

In 2009, during her experience as Miss Delaware, Kate went to Vegas to compete in the Miss USA pageant. “It was 15 days where we were isolated for the competition and I honestly felt like I was losing my mind,” she explains. So, she found solace in the “video confessionals,” an early 2000’s trend where the women were encouraged to tape “off the cuff” and unrehearsed reactions to the competition and experience. “It was during those confessionals that I realized I was making everyone laugh, and I thought, I’m pretty funny.” The confirmation came when former CEO of Miss Universe and Miss USA, Paula Shugart, sought Kate out to tell her how funny her confessionals were. “That sparked something in me. I was surrounded by intelligent and accomplished women, and I was standing out.”

Kate continued that quest for laughter, and proves to have beauty, brains and blithe. Today, Kate writes her own comedy and performs it locally here at the Delaware Beaches. “I was always artsy and creative,” she said. “I paint, draw, doodle, and sing.” But, after pageantry she focused on comedy. She most recently held stand-up shows at The Pines American Bistro and The Rehoboth Ale House, where she was 1 of 4 comedians to headline the show. While Kate is professional during the day, she channels her self-proclaimed inner Nikki Glaser at night. “Some of my jokes are a bit inappropriate, and I had to give Mayor Stevens [The Dewey Beach Mayor and her colleague] a disclaimer before he came,” she says with a laugh.

Kate is easy going, silly and fun. By day, she plans on continuing to serve her community as Town Clerk, and by night, she hopes to keep them laughing. “Starboard has a Comedy Club show every Tuesday, and there are talks of me going to perform,” she leaked. So, keep your eye out for her name on the Starboard Marquee. (Starboard if you’re reading this, BOOK HER NOW!)  


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